if one only remembers to turn on the light

June 28, 2017

the princess bride

June 26, 2017

why i wanted to read it: because my sister-in-law, niece and nephew had not seen the movie. we watched it while in colorado. when i'd mentioned to my nephew that it was based on a book and asked if he wanted to read it, he said yes, so i bought it. curious to know how it differed from the film, i read it. the boy's interest in the story, of course, has vacillated since having purchased it. i suggested on a number of occasions that we could read some of it, and he balked every time. my niece said today that she wanted to read it. they're eight. i'm sure they'll change their minds again. whatever.

what i liked: "if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches" (page 63). (yes, it's corny as shit, but i'm a romantic. i liked the analogy. shut it.)

or worse, what if he got to america and worked his jobs and built their farm and made their bed and sent for her and when she got there he would look at her and say,"i'm sending you back, the moping has destroyed your eyes, the self-pity has taken your skin; you're a slobby-looking creature, i'm marrying an indian girl who lives in a teepee nearby and is always in the peak of condition" (page 65).

the woman who emerged was a trifle thinner, a great deal wiser, an ocean sadder. this one understood the nature of pain, and beneath the glory of her features, there was character and a sure knowledge of suffering (page 69).

he was fevered always now, but he forced his frail shell on, because this had to be the finest since excalibur. domingo was battling a legend, and it was destroying him (page 130).

consider: a little over three years ago, you were a milkmaid and i was a farm boy. now you are almost a queen and i rule uncontested on the water. surely, such individuals were never intended to die in a fire swamp (pages 212-213).

"i've heard before of creatures like this, the heartless ones, and as they grow bigger they get more and more beautiful and behind them is nothing but broken bodies and shattered souls" (page 241).

"he sails the seven seas with the dread pirate roberts."

"why would he do a thing like that?"

"because he is a sailor for the dread pirate roberts."

"a sailor? a common sailor? a common ordinary seaman bests the great inigo montoya with the sword? in-con-ceiv-a-ble. he must be the dread pirate roberts. otherwise it makes no sense" (page 275).

"there is a god; i know that. and there is love; i know that too; so westley will save me."

"you're a silly girl, now go to your room."

"yes, i am a silly girl and, yes again, i will go to my room, and you are a coward with a heart filled with nothing but fear."

the prince had to laugh. "the greatest hunter in the world and you say i am a coward?"

"i do... i say you are a coward and you are; i think you hunt only to reassure yourself that you are not what you are: the weakest thing to ever walk the earth. he will come for me and then we will be gone, and you will be helpless for all your hunting, because westley and i are joined by the bond of love and you cannot track that, not with a thousand bloodhounds, and you cannot break it, not with a thousand swords" (page 280).

"your ears you keep, so that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness will be yours to cherish -- every babe that weeps in fear at your approach, every woman that cries 'dear god, what is that thing?' will reverberate forever with your perfect ears. that is what 'to the pain' means. it means that i leave you in freakish misery until you can stand it no more; so there you have it, pig, there you know, you miserable vomitous mass, and i say this now, live or die, it's up to you: drop your sword" (pages 351-352).

i LOVED reading about inigo and fezzik's histories. i loved that it delved into the nightmares buttercup has about what would happen were she to marry humperdinck. there're a couple of other small differences, but essentially (because goldman also wrote the screenplay), the film follows the text.

what sucked: there are TWO introductions to the novel, both by the author. WHY??? why must you waste my time and the world's paper? just get to the good stuff! thirty-nine pages of bullshit, and THEN the story begins. because it's a story within a story, and i don't give a rat's ass about the exterior. i only want to read the GOOD STUFF, goddammit. and then there's some thirty more pages of bullshit before you get to a sort of epilogue (i HATE epilogues because usually they're stupid and CHEESY). i'll probably read it. eventually. but for the sake of this post, i'm sticking a fork in the thing.

having said all that: i enjoyed reading this. it's fast and engaging... once you find the true beginning.

the romantics

June 25, 2017

why i wanted to read it: a friend recommended it.

what i liked: it's a love story told from cupid's perspective. neat idea.

what sucked: but i have an issue with cupid's so-called inability to intervene in some instances and the lengths to which he goes in others. and the ending's too unbelievable.

having said that: i liked the characters, there's some good subplots in it and it reads fast. but i didn't mark a single page. overall, it's mediocre at best.

the duff

why i wanted to read it: because i liked the movie well enough.

what i liked: "spanish, huh?" he said, glancing down at the scattered papers as he grabbed them. "can you say anything interesting?"

"el tono de tu voz hace que quiera estrangularme." i stood up and waited for him to hand over my papers.

"that sounds sexy," he said, getting to his feet and handing me the stack of spanish work he'd swept together. "what's it mean?"

"the sound of your voice makes me want to strangle myself."

"kinky" (pages 17-18).

"what you are is an intelligent, sassy, sarcastic, cynical, neurotic, loyal, compassionate girl" (page 175).

"i haven't been avoiding you."

"don't lie," wesley said. "you've been doing everything you can to stay away from me. you won't even look at me in class, and you practically sprint down the hallway if you see me coming. even when you hated me, you didn't act like that. you might threaten to stab me, but you never --"

"i still hate you," i snarled up at him. "you're infuriating. you act like i owe you an apology. i'm sorry i made you worry, wesley, but i just can't be around you anymore. you helped me escape from my problems for a while, and i appreciate that, but i have to face reality. i can't keep running away."

"but that is exactly what you're doing right now," wesley hissed. "you're running away."

"excuse me?"

"don't pretend, bianca," he said. "you're smarter than that, and so am i. i finally figured out what you meant when you left. you said you were like hester. i get it now. the first time you came to my house, when we wrote that paper, you said hester was trying to escape. but everything caught up with hester in the end, didn't it? well, something finally caught up with you, but you're just running away again..."

"i didn't mean anything to you," i told him.

"then why am i here... why the hell am i here, bianca?" (pages 229-231).

i discovered wuthering heights doesn't have a happy ending. because of stupid, spoiled, selfish cathy (yeah, i have no room to talk, but still), everyone winds up miserable. her choice ruins the lives of the people she cares most about. because she picked propriety over passion. head over heart. linton over heathcliff (page 252).

what sucked: i don't think i can say anything sucked.

having said that: it's pretty typical teen fiction and differs quite a bit from the movie, but i actually liked the book more. having seen the film first, i was hearing mae whitman and robbie amell voice the characters. it's heavy on wish fulfillment, just like the movie, but then, most love stories are, so... i liked it. it's cheesy but cute and reads fast.

little beach street bakery

why i wanted to read it: because i liked the title.

what i liked: "this is how it is," came the voice from beside her. mrs. manse didn't sound her usual snappy, angry self. she sounded resigned, sad, serious. "this is how it is. we stand and we wait. we women. this is what we do."

polly looked at her.

"does it help?"

mrs. manse shrugged. "it doesn't bring them back."

polly nodded. "but you think it might?"

mrs. manse was silent for a long time. the lighthouse beam swung around again. finally she spoke. 

"i don't know what else to do," she said.

polly bit her lip. 

"i always thought," said mrs. manse quietly, "that if i don't come one night, that will be the night he comes home... with the very last of his strength, only just enough to climb the harbor wall... and if i'm not here to help him, he won't make it."

polly understood that completely.

mrs. manse turned suddenly, her large body stoic and unmoving in the wind. 

"please," she said, in more urgent tones. "please go home. don't get like me."

"but i need to wait for them," said polly.

mrs. manse shook her head. "not like this", she said with desperation in her voice. "please. not like this. don't do this to yourself."

polly pulled the blanket more tightly around her.

"i can't think of anything else."

"but wishing doesn't do it," said mrs. manse crossly. "don't you see? wishing doesn't do it." she looked polly straight in the face. "please," she said, imploring her now. "please go home... don't. don't be like me... go. while you still can."

"i can't leave you out here."

"you have to," said mrs. manse (pages 288-289).

"i have invited all his sexy rich friends. there must be someone who won't move to another continent if you kiss them" (page 385).

what sucked: the names kerensa and huckle. seriously. what the fuck is up with this broad and her inability to name characters well? also, why in god's name must she take four hundred twenty-one pages to tell a story? and why does she have to have such weak subplots? and why must the majority of her pages be so badly written? GAH.

having said that: she has neat ideas for stories but the execution is so totally lame. i felt the complete opposite about this one than i did the bookshop tale. that one, the majority of it bored the hell out of me but the ending was pretty good. this one didn't bore me as much (but please understand i was still bored), and the ending was ridiculous shit.

skinny bitch

why i wanted to read it: because once upon a time i worked at a bookstore and all the girls were buying this book, and years later when i'd crossed over the one-fifty mark, i was thinking to myself: fat pig, you should read that book.

what i liked: of course it's easier to socialize after you've had a few drinks. but being a fat pig will hinder you, sober or drunk. and habitual drinking equals fat-pig syndrome. beer is for frat boys... it makes you fat, bloated, and farty. why do you think when kids go away to college they gain the "freshmen fifteen"? beer, duh. alcohol isn't any better. it raises the level of hydrochloric acid in your stomach, wreaking havoc on the digestive process. if you suffer from poor digestion, then food will not process through your body properly. hence, bloated fat-pig syndrome. to make matters worse, some alcohol (and non-organic wines) still contain urethane, a cancer-causing chemical. to boot, both beer and alcohol jack up your blood-sugar levels, which is bad for you bod. and don't kid yourself; when you have a hangover, you're bound to eat shit all day long (page 12).

aspartame (an ingredient commonly found in diet sodas and other sugar-free foods) has been blamed for a slew of scary maladies, like arthritis, birth defects, fibromyalgia, alzheimer's, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. when methyl alcohol, a component of aspartame, enters your body, it turns into formaldehyde. formaldehyde is toxic and carcinogenic (cancer-causing). laboratory scientists use formaldehyde as a disinfectant or preservative. they don't fucking drink it. perhaps you have a lumpy ass because you are preserving your fat cells with diet soda... when aspartame is paired with carbs, it causes your brain to slow down its production of serotonin. a heathy level of serotonin is needed to be happy and well-balanced. so drinking soda can make you fat, sick and unhappy (page 14).

think about how widely accepted it has become that people need coffee to wake up. you should not need anything to wake up. if you can't wake up without it, it's because you're either addicted to caffeine, sleep-deprived, or a generally unhealthy slob... caffeine can cause headaches, digestive problems, irritation of the stomach and bladder, peptic ulcers, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. it affects every organ system, from the nervous system to the skin. caffeine raises stress hormone levels, inhibits important enzyme systems that are responsible for cleaning the body, and sensitizes nerve reception sites... coffee, whether regular or decaf, is highly acidic. acidic foods cause your body to produce fat cells, in order to keep the acid away from your organs... it also makes your breath smell like ass. furthermore, coffee beans, like other crops, are grown with chemical pesticides... so every single morning you're starting your day with poison. add sugar or other artificial sweeteners, top it off with milk or cream, and you'll be fat forever (pages 15-16).

the food you put into your body works its way into your organs and blood stream and is actually part of who you are. so every time you put crap in your body, you are crap (page 65).

think of how you feel when you are angry, afraid, and grief-stricken... these emotions -- fear, grief and rage -- produce chemical changes in our bodies. they do the same to animals. their blood pressure rises. adrenaline courses through their bodies. you are eating high blood pressure, stress, and adrenaline... you cannot be thin and beautiful with a glowing complexion when you eat fear, grief, and rage (page 76).

what sucked: i read this so many years ago, but i can't remember anything i didn't like, unless you count the authors urging that the reader go vegan.

having said that: sure i could stand to overhaul my diet, but i don't know that i could be as strict as they suggest. i could appreciate the way they wrote the book though, because they seemed informed, confident of their opinions and crass. and i do like the snark.

fourteen things celebrated in may

June 3, 2017

number one.
one. may third. two different-colored shoes day. wear shoes that don't match for the entirety of your day.

number two.
two. may fourth. star wars day. may the fourth be with you. wear a star wars shirt if you've got one. share four of your favorite lines from the films.

i'd just as soon kiss a wookie (leia, empire strikes back).

i can arrange that. you could use a good kiss (han, empire strikes back).

laugh it up, fuzzball (han, empire strikes back).

we would be honored if you would join us (vader, empire strikes back).

three. may fifth. national cartoonists day. share a favored comic.

number four.
four. also may fifth. totally chipotle day. treat yourself to a burrito. (and yeah, it's cinco de mayo, too. i know. so if you wanna have a margarita with that, go right ahead.)

five. may tenth. clean up your room day. seriously. CLEAN IT. get rid of all the shit. donate the things you don't need, if you can, and trash the rest. that place should be a haven not a dump (like mine usually is).

so yeah. this didn't happen.

six. may twelfth. national spouse military appreciation day. send notes to those who have husbands and wives serving in our military, whether those serving are active or not, home or abroad. thank them for what they do, too. 

i sent one. better than nothing, i suppose. 

seven. also may twelfth. national limerick day. write one. YES, that's what i said. haikus are a hell of lot easier, now, right? you're wishing you'd done that one last month. limerick. write it, and then share one you love.

so i paired this one with...

twelve. also may twenty-fourth. brothers day. if you've got one, do something nice for the idiot.

... and wrote him a poem:

this here's a limerick for my brother, joe
mom tells me be nice; if only that could be so
sometimes it is such an impossible task
he can be a ginormous pain in my ass
but oh, how i do love that silly boy, though

i can't say it's a favorite, but here's one i like well enough. damned if i can say who wrote it:

the limerick packs laughs anatomical
into space that is quite economical
but the good ones i've seen
so seldom are clean
and the clean ones so seldom are comical

number eight.
eight. may fifteenth. national chocolate chip cookie day. bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies from scratch...

nine. may twenty-first. national waitstaff day. ...and take the cookies to the servers at your favorite restaurant. since these things don't have to be done on their specific day, can i recommend this be done on mother's day? that is the WORST day of the year for them. if you wanna be extra awesome, give them handwritten notes to let them know how awesome and how loved they are.

i did take them cookies, but on the last day of the month.

i'd gone by deaux's on mother's day after having brunch with mine to leave them love.

number ten.
ten. may twenty-third. national lucky penny day. get a roll of pennies. throughout your day, leave one here and there and everywhere, face up for others to find. give them some good luck.

i didn't do this the way i'd planned. i ended up cramming half these things on the last day of the month again, and so this one backfired on me. i thought i'd leave a penny on random tables and all the vacant barstools at pappadeaux's for guests to take... my mom's always saying find a penny, pick it up, and all day long you'll have good luck, so i thought i'd give the guests some luck. only the guests weren't so happy to find the pennies, i guess, and questioned the hostesses and bartenders, and one of the hostesses went around the restaurant collecting them. i overheard her complaining to one of the bartenders, asking who'd left the pennies on the table. i'd confessed that i'd done so, took the pennies from her, rounded up the rest, and gave them to one of the servers. it would've worked out better had i done it the way i'd intended. i would've felt better had i done it that way. lately, i'd been feeling like nothing i do is right, so this incident quickly sunk my spirits. i'd thought of leaving them on the fountain at the neighboring pappasito's, but then i suppose people would've been questioning the hostesses there, so... bad idea.

eleven. may twenty-fourth. national scavenger hunt day. i tried to get my niece and nephew to play along with me. they weren't too keen on the idea.

thirteen. may twenty-fifth. red nose day. get you one. i saw a passel of'm at walgreen's. wear that thing all day line and with much pride.

i'd meant to do this one on the actual day but forgot, so i did it the next day.

fourteen. also may twenty-fifth. national wine day. get a group of friends together. share a bottle.

this didn't happen, either. on the last day, after the penny debacle, i bought myself a glass. it should've helped me relax. it didn't.